Sister Diane Ris, 80, died at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, at Mother Theodore Hall, St. in Mary-of-the-Woods. She was born on July 16, 1932, in Port Chester, N.Y., to Irving and Ester Johnstone Ris and baptized Diane Lawlor Ris.
Sister entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence on July 21, 1951 and received the name S. Martin Therese. She professed Final Vows on Jan. 23, 1959. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, a master’s degree from Indiana University and a Ph.D. from Ball State University. In her 61 years as a Sister of Providence, she ministered for 21 years as a primary teacher in schools in Indiana and Illinois. Having completed her doctorate, she took a position at Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky., where she ministered for 19 years. During those years, she also gave four years to congregation administration, serving as provincial of St. Gabriel Province in Indiana. In 1996, she was elected the 16th General Superior, a position she held for five years. After finishing her term, she remained at the motherhouse, where she set about finishing a book begun by Sister Joseph Eleanor Ryan on the life of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. She completed it in 2011. During this same time, she also volunteered as healing minister in health care, something she continued until very recently.
She is survived by two sisters, Linda VanDenBerg of Jacksonville, Fla., and Peggy Joneas, Memphis, Tenn. She was preceded in death by four sisters, Bunny Ris, Betty Ann Nichols, Nancy Shank, and Leona McCurdy.
The wake is Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Church of the Immaculate Conception with the wake service at 4:30 p.m. The Mass of Christian burial is Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Daniel R. Hopcus presiding. Burial is in the cemetery of the Sisters of Providence. Callahan-DeBaun Funeral Home assisted with arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to Sisters of Providence, 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876-1007.